Premium Aerotec, headquartered in Augsburg, Germany, has announced it will begin the series production of metal additive manufactured parts for the Airbus Group at its Varel site in Friesland, Germany. The company has constructed a new production hall for the Additive Manufacturing of titanium parts in Varel and recently signed a cooperation agreement with Concept Laser as premium supplier for the machinery and plant technology.
Premium Aerotec will begin producing a double-walled pipe elbow used in the fuel system of the Airbus A400M transport aircraft. This complex part was previously produced from individual cast parts which were then welded together to form one assembly. According to Peter Sander, Head of Emerging Technologies and Concepts at Airbus, Airbus is planning to print one tonne of metal powder a month in 2018.
The new facility currently has two M2 cusing multilaser machines and one X line 1000R machine supplied by Concept Laser. “By the middle of 2016, another X line 2000R will be added. It features what is currently the world’s largest build envelope (800 x 400 x 500 mm) in the field of powder-bed-based laser melting and is also equipped with 2 x 1000 W lasers,” stated Gerd Weber, Site Manager of Premium Aerotec in Varel.
The cooperation agreement signed between Premium Aerotec and Concept Laser is set to promote further industrialisation of the laser melting process for applications in aviation as well the further development of plant and process technology, QA systems and the qualification of new powder alloys.
“The fact that we have been chosen as premium supplier to Premium Aerotec fills us with pride and demonstrates to us that we are on the right path,” stated Frank Herzog, CEO and President of Concept Laser GmbH. “This cooperation marks an important milestone for the industrialisation of 3D metal printing in aircraft construction and undoubtedly also sends a signal to other industries.”